The author of the lyrics for Canada’s national anthem, “O Canada,” probably didn’t have trademarks in mind when he wrote “we stand on guard for thee.”  But a recent trademark infringement win for a Maryland-based U.S. non-profit corporation in Canada shows that Canadian courts will guard against consumer confusion and enforce trademark rights even when

Seyfarth Shaw’s Intellectual Property Group was out in full force at the recent International Trademark Association (INTA) annual conference in Atlanta on May 18-22, 2024.  Fifteen Seyfarth attorneys, representing nine different Seyfarth offices, attended:  Amy Abeloff (Los Angeles – Century City), Anne Yates (Atlanta), Bart Lazar (Chicago), Brian Michaelis (Boston), Ed Maluf (New York), Jay

Before we start the show, the casts of characters may drive you Off the Wall, so here’s a little primer to help you:

Triumph International, Inc. (“Triumph”) is a merchandise licensing company for the estate of Michael Jackson.

MJJ Productions, Inc. (“MJJ Productions”) is a California-based record label and the custodians of Michael

In the digital age, fans have embraced the opportunity to put a spin on famous corporate logos. Reimagining logos may be a way for consumers to express a connection they have to the brands, teams, and franchises they love and support. However, it does not come without legal risks.

There is a fine line between

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has proposed significant changes to patent fee structures for the 2025 fiscal year. These proposed changes mark a pivotal shift in the Office’s financial approach toward patent filings. 

The proposed fee changes are available here.

These adjustments stand out not just for their size but for

The one and only TTABlogger, to whom we are very much indebted, recently reviewed and analyzed the decisions concerning Section 2(d) and Section 2(e)(1) refusals that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board issued in 2023.  Based on these numbers, the Board seems to be increasingly receptive to challenges of likelihood of confusion refusals under

As attorneys, we’ve all taken Legal Research and Writing. This is where we first encountered Westlaw and Lexis, using these sites to delve into case law for various assignments while chasing Westlaw and Lexis points in the hopes of getting a free TV or iPod (back when that was a thing). Professors always emphasized the critical process of tracing the history of a case and determining if the case is still considered “good law.”

With the rise of generative AI over the past year, it’s unsurprising that lawyers are turning to this advanced technology for legal research. However, there’s a growing concern: the blind acceptance of AI-generated content. This issue was highlighted in U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert’s 2023 year-end report on the federal judiciary. A notable incident involved the Second Circuit reprimanding a New York attorney for submitting a brief with reference to a non-existent case, hallucinated by ChatGPT, without proper verification.Continue Reading USPTO Sets to Clarify Attorney Guidelines in the Age of Generative AI

This article was originally published to Seyfarth’s The Blunt Truth blog.

Republic Technologies (NA) LLC (“Republic”) filed an application to register the proposed mark 4:20 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).  Republic amended its goods twice during prosecution of the application and ultimately sought to register “tobacco; cigarette papers; cigarette filters; cigarette tubes; cigarette rolling machines; handheld machines for injecting tobacco into cigarette tubes; machines allowing smokers to make cigarettes by themselves; none of the foregoing containing or for use with cannabis” (emphasis added). The USPTO alleged that consumers would understand 4:20 to mean cannabis, the mark misdescribes non-cannabis related goods, and consumers would believe the misrepresentation. Therefore, the USPTO refused registration alleging that the mark was deceptively misdescriptive of the goods in the application. Republic appealed the decision to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”). But the Board saw through the smoke of Republic’s arguments and affirmed the refusal. 

Republic is a leading provider of smoking accessories. Republic initially filed its application for the mark 4:20 for use in association with the goods “tobacco; cigarette papers; cigarette filters; cigarette tubes; cigarette rolling machines; handheld machines for injecting tobacco into cigarette tubes; machines allowing smokers to make cigarettes by themselves.” Perhaps familiar with the many uses of Republic’s goods, the USPTO refused the application on mere descriptiveness grounds. It alleged that consumers understand 4:20 to mean cannabis and the goods describe a product containing or to be used with cannabis. The USPTO also asked Republic to provide additional information about its goods. In particular, whether the goods contain or would be used in connection with cannabis or marijuana. Continue Reading 4:20 Unfriendly – TTAB Says 4:20 is Deceptively Misdescriptive of Goods Not Used with Cannabis